State-run Korean Central News Agency
reported that on Saturday, North Korea leader Kim Jong Un supervised the
testing of long range multiple rocket launchers as well as tactical guided
weapons as part of the regime’s military engagement drills:
“The purpose of the drill was to
estimate and inspect the operating ability and the accuracy of striking duty
performance of large-caliber long-range multiple rocket launchers and tactical
guided weapons by defense units in the frontline area and on the eastern front.”
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff
said that the short-range missiles were fired from the Hodo peninsula in the
east of the country.
South Korean officials said several
short-range projectiles flew 70 to 200 kilometers (43 to 124 miles) before
landing in the Sea of Japan.
The launches took place between 9:06
a.m and 9:27 a.m. local time Saturday (8:06 p.m. to 8:27 ET Friday).
South Korea’s Presidential
Spokeswoman disclosed the country’s concern with Pyongyang’s move:
“We are very concerned about the
North’s latest action,” and added “that the move violates an inter-Korean
“We expect North Korea to
actively join efforts towards the fast resumption of denuclearization
The Presidential Spokeswoman had just
concluded a meeting with the country’s defense minister, presidential security
advisors and intelligence chief.
Analysts believe that the test-fires
could further trigger tensions between the United States and North Korea. In
February, President Donald Trump walked away from what he described as a bad
deal offered by Kim Jong-un in Vietnam summit.
President Trump tweeted his view on
“I believe that Kim Jong-Un
fully realizes the great economic potential of North Korea, & will do
nothing to interfere or end it. He also knows that I am with him & does not
want to break his promise to me. Deal will happen!”
South Korea’s Defense
Ministry stated that “our military maintains a solid ROK-US combined
defense posture and supports the ongoing diplomatic efforts with a powerful
White House Press Secretary Sarah
Sanders said in a statement Saturday that “we are aware of North Korea’s
actions tonight. We will continue to monitor as necessary.”